Recent visitors to Falmouth may have noticed there is a bit of a seaweed epidemic hitting our gorgeous coastline. Actually this is nothing new but this season appears worse because no-one seems to be doing anything about it. That comment isn’t strictly true either because many members of the Visit Falmouth team, (FDHA) and other members of the community are.
On Thursday Gyllyngvase beach finally saw the arrival of a tractor to shift seaweed and several volunteer groups have been taking time out to help move the seaweed thus enable our visitors and locals to enjoy what remains of summer. Summer? Ok we know it has been a little short and sporadic this year but with the levels of seaweed left on the beaches right now be thankful it hasn’t been too sunny or hot.
Before you go home feeling cheated out of your Cornish beach holiday or, if you are considering staying away please remember Falmouth isn’t alone. The last two years seem particularly bad for many beaches across the globe. Beaches in Kent shift 6,000 – 7,000 tonnes of seaweed each year, (fair enough, at least they are shifting it). Beaches as far away as New England are being invaded by red seaweed that originates from Japan and is sadly threatening native marine life. Beaches across France is also experiencing high levels of seaweed this year too and the list goes on.
So why are we seeing more seaweed in Falmouth? Well we can shout at the powers that be that don’t appear to be regularly clearing it or we can blame the current weather patterns, (in fairness it is a combination of the two). You don’t need us to tell you that this hasn’t been our best summer. Seaweed relies on the constant movement of the sea to enable it to absorb the gases and nutrients from the water and we all know that at times the sea has certainly been moving. Seaweed is pretty resilient when it comes to clinging on for dear life but during particularly rough seas it gives up and whoosh there it is stranded on the beach. What hasn’t helped is the level of sand that has then been shifted on top of the rotting seaweed.
Yesterday members of the FDHA set to work uncovering seaweed and removing it from Castle Beach. The smell was horrendous forcing several of the younger helpers to wear masks. Their hard work has paid off and by the end of yesterday Castle Beach and the newly cleared Gyllngvase looked beautiful even with the backdrop of looming black clouds. There is little doubt that with the current weather the return of large amounts of seaweed is imminent but for now at least GET ON THOSE WELLIES AND ENJOY OUR BEAUTIFUL BEACHES!
How has the seaweed effected your holiday? Visit Falmouth would love to hear your reactions.